Kansas truck driver given 10 to 20 years for fatal Wyoming crash

LARAMIE, Wyo. — A truck driver has been sentenced to between 10 and 20 years in prison for falling asleep at the wheel of her semitractor-trailer and causing a fatal crash in Wyoming.

The Laramie Boomerang reports 48-year-old Tonya Hightower was sentenced Tuesday for the March 2018 accident that killed 57-year-old Vidal Madera of Laramie.

The commercial truck driver from Kansas pleaded not guilty to aggravated homicide by vehicle.

A jury found her guilty in August after determining her decision to drive on Interstate 80 while knowingly fatigued constituted recklessness.

Hightower told a Wyoming Highway Patrol trooper at the scene that she had taken leftover pills from a 2017 surgery including hydrocodone, a prescription opioid pain medication.

Court records say she did not test positive for narcotics when blood was drawn later.

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